The Yankees now have won three in a row and seven of their last nine. Also they took the series against the division rival Orioles so that’s always a plus. Ivan Nova pitched solidly and Mark Teixeira and A-Rod‘s homers powered the offense to deliver the 4-3 W for New York.
Just like last night, the Yankee bats drew first blood in the game. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom of the first with a double on an 0-2 count. Brett Gardner followed that up with an RBI single to center. Kevin Gausman got A-Rod to pop out but Teixeira hit a homer to right to give a 3-0 Yankees lead. Good start.
The offense didn’t get much going for next few innings. Gausman threw a pair of 1-2-3 innings. Carlos Beltran hit a lead-off double in the fourth but the following hitters failed to bring him in home. In the fifth inning, with one out, A-Rod hit a mistake pitch deep to left field – the ball hit the top of the Steiner Sports sign. It was his 20th homer of the year – a feat that he last accomplished way back in 2010, which is pretty wild to think about.
Gardner’s RBI and HRs by the big guys amounted to four total runs for the Yankees and that was good enough to win the game. New York did, however, struggled a bit with RISP situations, going 1-for-8 (after going 1-for-10 yesterday). Ah well. If this was last year’s lineup, the Yankees would have had much harder time winning. Having healthy Teixeira and A-Rod back in the lineup is huge.
The Orioles got their first runs in the top of third on a two-run homer by Ryan Flaherty. Ryan Flaherty! Buck Showalter started him instead of Chris Parmelee at first base. Prior to this game, Flaherty had been 3-for-7 against Nova and that moved worked well.
Besides that one blunder, Nova pretty much cruised. He went six innings, allowed three hits, two runs, walked three and struck out three. After tonight’s start, his ERA is at 3.34 in 29.2 IP, which is very acceptable, especially for a team that needs rotation upgrades. If he gradually shakes off the rust start-by-start, he could be on track to throw better outings down the stretch.
As far as the pitching was concerned, it was a smooth sailing for the Yankees… well, for the most of it.
Three Yankee relievers pitched an inning each and faced one batter above minimum. Chasen Shreve came in to pitch the seventh and retired the side 1-2-3. Girardi summoned the unofficial 8th inning guy Dellin Betances and he did what Dellin normally does – a three-up, three down inning with two strikeouts.
In the ninth, Andrew Miler came in and… he retired the first two hitters with a ground out and strikeout. The third hitter of the inning, Chris Davis, made contact with a low slider. It seemed like a routine fly ball off the bat but the ball somehow sailed over the short porch for a solo HR. Davis doesn’t make contact that often anymore but he still has that freak power. Thankfully, Miller struck out Jonathan Schoop to seal the win for New York.
Box score, standings, highlights, WPA
Tomorrow, the Yankees go for the series sweep. Masahiro Tanaka takes the rubber against Ubaldo Jimenez in an afternoon matchup. Again, a sweep would be really nice, especially for yours truly who lives in the state of Maryland.